Expertise

Parent category for mentors.

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Building an Angel Network within Incubator and Accelerator Communities

How to Build an Angel Network With Our Incubator Community

Nevadans will be the first to tell you that our state’s startup scene is experiencing an unprecedented surge of energy. With no state income tax and significantly lower barriers to entry compared to most regions in the U.S., Nevada has become a hotspot for investment. But the benefits of investing in Nevada aren’t just about tax perks. The Nevada community and StartUpNV are ideal locales to build valuable connections—and bridge an existing gap between investors and the startups they support.

Bridging the Gap with StartUpNV

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As Nevada’s only statewide startup incubator and accelerator, we’ve noticed a unique challenge: a perceived gap between angel investors and startups. Angels may claim there are no worthwhile deals to be found; entrepreneurs may lament the scarcity of investors willing to write checks. These, however, are misconceptions.

StartUpNV is here to shine a light on these issues. We organize startups into a dynamic marketplace where the most promising ventures rise to the top. We make these opportunities available to forward-thinking angels who possess the foresight and strategy to identify and back the winners. We do this through a variety of programming, but in this article, we focus on one tactic in particular: how to build an angel network.

Build Your Network with a Startup Incubator

Angel groups provide a structured framework for high-net-worth individuals or accredited investors to discover, evaluate, and fund promising entrepreneurial ventures. Maybe we’re biased, but we recommend that all founders tap these angel networks.. It’s one of the best tactics to boost startup success, both for seasoned founders and first-timers.

These networks provide a sounding board where minds come together and evaluate opportunities, review product/market fit, and share business resources. If you team up with the right startup accelerator community, such as StartUpNV, you can unlock unique opportunities that startups won’t find anywhere else.

Improve Diversification

Angel investors and entrepreneurs can diversify their portfolios when they participate in investments offered through accelerator partnerships. For example, consider FundNV, a for-profit pre-seed venture capital fund for StartUpNV accelerator companies.

FundNV invests $50,000 per company through a convertible note or a SAFE, both of which offer founder-friendly terms.. This type of diversification minimizes individual risk and increases investment success.

Partners in Due Diligence

Angel networks can foster rigorous due diligence processes and evaluate investment opportunities, especially when an investor has particular goals in mind.

For example, check out the 1864 Fund, a $10M seed-stage fund affiliated with StartUpNV’s programming. This fund provides a verified way for investors to support talent outside of more conventional enclaves because it focuses on opportunities in the American interior. We call this a “gold zone” where deals are priced low and returns have great potential. We aim to connect investors with these types of opportunities through a collaborative approach that connects the right investor to the right deal at the right moment.

Learn From Those Who Came Before

A recurring theme among accelerator programs is that members can get more done when they harness collective knowledge. Some accelerator programs are designed to help members do just that. Our AngelNV investor education program is a great example. 

Here, investors have the unique opportunity to learn from seasoned startup investors within a secure group environment, perfect for those new to startup investing. AngelNV brings together a mix of first-time and seasoned angels to invest collectively, and this creates an ideal space for knowledge exchange.

Attendees benefit from a conference format that goes beyond theory; it provides hands-on engagement with startups seeking investment. This approach enables individuals to kick start their journey as they build a diverse portfolio of startup investments.

Boost Deal Flow and Negotiating Power

Angel networks can facilitate strong connections within  a region’s startup ecosystem. Members benefit from a broader range of investment opportunities and the potential to pool financial resources, which supports a collective approach that yields better results. 

As an added effect, these networks can leverage more substantial negotiating power when they deal with investment candidates. This can lead to more favorable terms for the network’s investors. These are the types of insights and benefits we strive to bring to all members of our program, and we always strive to improve our ability to connect.

Whether you’re an investor, a founder, or a tech enthusiast, StartUpNV is here to help. From understanding different types of venture capital strategies to learning how to calculate pre- money valuation, our programs will give you an edge to navigate the investment landscape.

Discover the multitude of investment opportunities available through our startup incubator and let’s make Nevada’s ecosystem flourish.

Our AngelNV 4 Investor track is coming January 23rd. Sign up now!

Valuation Pitfalls: Common Mistakes Made by Nevada Startup Founders

Avoid Valuation Pitfalls: Common Mistakes Made by Nevada Startup Founders

With the 2021-22 valuation bubble in the rearview mirror, founders must calculate a startup valuation that aligns with investor goals for return on their portfolio. While Nevada has recently become a hotspot for aspiring entrepreneurs, we must keep this focus in mind. In the rush to avoid “too much” dilution, some founders miss the forest for the trees and elevate valuation above what the market can justify. While valuation is an important metric in the startup journey, it’s just one part of a multifaceted process. Founders should do the market research and calculate a startup valuation that makes “market sense” to avoid being shut down by investors at the jump.

 We at StartUpNV utilize our experience and specialized valuation tools to help our partners navigate the entrepreneurial landscape—from ideation to valuation. We’re here to help you avoid valuation pitfalls so you can present a well-balanced investment offering where investors, founders, and all stakeholders can win.

Valuation and Startup Success Demystified

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Startups in the Nevada area thrive, thanks to the state’s robust support structures and a growing pool of entrepreneurial talent. Securing a good valuation is a win, but entrepreneurs must understand that it’s just one piece of the larger puzzle.

 A deeper dive reveals that founders should not focus only on the shiny allure of a high valuation in the early rounds, but should give due weight to the intricate details that underline a startup’s journey.

The Myth of Valuation Supremacy

Many startup founders see their company’s valuation as a primary marker of success. This obsession with numbers can overshadow the foundational elements of building a sustainable business, which is one of the reasons 1 in 5 startups fail in the first year (National Business Capital).

Experienced investors see beyond the dollar signs and look for evidence of a startup’s ability to thrive in a competitive market. In Nevada, founders should approach valuation with both an analytical mindset and a visionary perspective. They must blend the art of storytelling with the science of financial forecasting to craft a compelling narrative that is reinforced by robust data and reliable metrics in context with their market.

Essential Pillars of Startup Success

Several pillars form a foundation of enduring startup success. These pillars are equally important even if valuation captures the spotlight. The following considerations will drive your startup’s growth and set the stage for sustainable scalability and impactful solutions:

  1. Build something people want – According to the Startup Genome Report, 42% of startups fail because they tackle products with no market need. It’s crucial that you invest time in market research and get genuine feedback to make sure you’re bringing value to the market—long before you seek valuation.

  2. Create a go-to-market business model – Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y Combinator, discusses the importance of market fit. But equally important is how you position your product in that market. Different models have different merits and challenges. There really is no one-size-fits-all business model, which is why you must tailor your strategy to your strengths, not just market demand.

  3. Cultivate competitive landscape awareness – According to research conducted by CB Insights, 20% of startups fail due to fierce competition. Understand your competition to differentiate your product from theirs and to identify market gaps.

  4. Assemble the right team – Analysis done by Failory shows that of the top 1,000 unicorn startups (those with valuations over $1 billion), 75% were founded with co-founders. A strong team helps overcome challenges and proves beneficial to overall success.
Valuation Pitfalls to Avoid

Navigating the intricacies of startup valuation is a nuanced endeavor. It might seem straightforward, but several common pitfalls can derail an otherwise promising venture.

Potential Pitfall 1: Setting Unrealistic Valuations

Overvaluation can lead to increased pressure, scrutiny, and potential down-rounds (which can dilute ownership and decrease morale). Conversely, undervaluation could cause you to give away more equity than necessary.

Potential Pitfall 2: Ignoring External Factors

External factors out of your control—from global economic downturns to sudden industry shifts—can drastically impact a startup’s valuation. Therefore, stay informed of broader industry trends and market conditions.

Potential Pitfall 2: Ignoring External Factors

While storytelling is a significant part of pitching, qualitative metrics without grounding valuation in quantifiable metrics (revenue streams, customer acquisition cost, gross margin, and more) can be perilous.

Ultimately, a realistic and informed approach to valuation appeals to investors, and it sets the stage for a startup’s sustainable growth. Founders cultivate credibility and trust when they anchor their valuation in tangible metrics, understand external factors, and set achievable expectation

Embrace the Full Entrepreneurial Spectrum

As mentioned above, entrepreneurship goes far beyond numbers. Post-valuation intricacies like navigating product pivots, scaling, and improving team dynamics are crucial.

A merger of passion, perseverance, and unwavering commitment to solve real-world problems propels startups from ideation to execution.

Embrace the full entrepreneurial spectrum:
  • Passion over profit – A successful entrepreneur often starts with a genuine passion for solving a problem rather than just the allure of profitability.

  • Adaptability – The startup landscape is evolving. The ability to pivot and adapt can be a game-changer in the long run.

  • Resilience – Every founder faces setbacks. It’s the resilience to bounce back that can set apart successful entrepreneurs from the rest.

  • Continuous learning – Whether you seek knowledge about the latest technology, market trends, or consumer behavior, successful entrepreneurs always learn and evolve.

Remember that for true success, you must create lasting value, nurture meaningful relationships, and foster a culture of continuous learning and growth. Nevada startups continue to carve their niche on the global stage

Partner with StartUpNV to Maximize Your Potential

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The road to long-term startup success demands a more holistic approach than sole focus on valuation. You must create value for both investors, customers, employees, and society at large.

StartUpNV offers a wide variety of beneficial services for startups, regardless of where you are in your journey. It’s why our partners continue to trust us for industry insights, investor strategies, and entrepreneurial support.

Contact StartUpNV experts today to discover how we can transform your business strategy to maximize your potential for success!